Workshops : Words on the Fleet

A four-part creative non-fiction writing workshop series for all experience levels inspired by The Mill on the Fleet and surrounding activities and environment. We will learn techniques to approach creating compelling pieces of place writing, nature writing, memoir and personal essay. 

The mill was historically a site of transformation: of water into power into spun cotton, bobbins, stripped bark for tanning.  We will generate words together to be woven into the fabric of the building as we emerge from our own historic moment of transformation. The themed workshops will be run as a series but can be attended individually.

A social and friendly environment to explore writing creatively together and to explore The Mill in a new way. Covid safety measures will be in place.

The individual sessions are themed as follows:

September 8thwellbeing.  We shall spend time noticing what helps us feel at ease and cultivating an embodied and multisensory presence for a writing-as-wellbeing practice; explore the capacity of objects to be biographical and expressive of inner life; and get to know the river with words. 

September 15th -  history and nature. An introduction to the Mill's history by Archivist and Historian Lesley Richmond will feed into exploring the museum's collections as starting points for pieces of writing. Using observations from the surrounding environment we shall approach writing about the Mill and river as part of a much larger web of ecological relationships over time.
September 22nd -  literature Using the Mill bookshop as a resource and inspiration, we shall create pieces through gathering fragments of text and using them to stimulate our own. We shall explore texts which speak of transformation, cycles and water. 

October 6th -  craft We shall explore shapes of narrative and tools for refining and editing, and be inspired by the processes related to The Mill (flow, wheel turning, weaving etc.). Using words generated in the workshop(s) we shall create collective text-artefacts to be displayed at the mill as a legacy. 


Workshops run 10.30 – 15.30 with lunch at the Mill café (cost not included).

10 places.  £15 per individual session or £40 for the series.  This series has been generously supported by DGU (Dumfries and Galloway Unlimited). 

Register for the workshops through The Mill Café or online - see below.

Tutor bio

Sarah Thomas writes creative non-fiction exploring the connection between people, the natural world, and time. She came to Galloway for a PhD in creative writing at the Crichton campus in Dumfries and now lives in Gatehouse and is looking forward to meeting you all! Her work has been published inThe Guardian, Dark Mountain and more. Her memoir set in Iceland The Raven's Nest was longlisted for the inaugural Nan Shepherd Prize and shortlisted for the 2021 Fitzcarraldo Essay prize. It will be published by Atlantic in July 2022.

 Register for the workshops

The themed workshops will be run as a series but can be attended individually if preferred.  There is no ticket as such required to be printed - once you are registered Sarah will be in touch to provide advance information on the workshops.


Register for September 15th - History and Nature Workshop.  £10


Register for September 22nd - Literature Workshop.  £10


Register for October 6th - Craft Workshop.   £10